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AFP charged for killing of Bayan Muna member

Press Release, May 23, 2011

Reference: Vince Casilihan, KARAPATAN-Bikol, Marilyn Estrellado,wife of Rodel Estrellado,

The fight for justice continues as cases of murder were filed againts Major Danilo Ambe and eight (8) others at the Camarines Sur Provincial Prosecutors Office on Thursday May 19, 2011 by CIDG, Rodel Estrellado’s family and Karapatan-Bikol.

“Though thankful to PNP in its effort and cooperation, we find it necessary for them to prosecute high ranking officials of AFP whom we believe are behind the killing of Rodel Estrellado. We fear that Estrellado case is just a tip of an iceberg of AFP’s human rights violations  against the people whom they swear to protect.” – said Casilihan.

“The culture of impunity on the military institution has proven to be their shield while it is a threat to people’s rights and welfare. Worst, this culture of impunity have cost the lives of many Bikolano human activist and rights defenders like Isaias Santa Rosa, Joel Baclao, Cris Hugo, Rambo Guran and Ompong Alvarado.” – added Casilihan.

It seems that AFP’s concept of human rights is to silence those who are opposing the unjust and anti-people policies and programs of the government. Using Oplan Bantay Laya under Macapagal-Arroyo administration and now Oplan Bayanihan of Noynoy Aquino administration, they filed fabricated charges as what they did to Bicol 8 and Daet 4. Oplan Bantay Laya and Oplan Bayanihan are government way of justifying its atrocities and terrorism over its people.

Various human rights violations against the civilian especially to human rights defenders and supportes has been a long standing issue in the Bicol Region. Some of the victims and survivors have decided to stop seeking for truth and justice due to fear and continuing threat for their lives. Karapatan-Bikol salute and admire the courage and firmess of Rodel Estrellao family in pursuing the case. One way or another the family serves as an inspiration to all the victims out there, bringing strong message for them to come out and bravely seek justice for their families and friends.

“It is high time for the AFP in the entire Philippines to know that civilian authority is at all time supreme over the military. It is high time that we bring them into court. This human rights violations againts us must stop. We hope that P-Noy administration hear our calls and walk his talk of matuwid na daan (“straight path”).”-ended Marilyn Estrellado.#

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